NoShame Films in July
have announced the Region 1 DVD release of two lost Italian classics in 25th July 2006. They are Marcello Pagliero’s neorealism classic Roma Citta’ Libera (Rome Free City) and Francesco Maselli’s political drama Open Letter To The Evening News. These rarely screened films represent two great eras in Italian cinema history that measure up to the classics of their respective eras. Both films have been given the complete NoShame Films treatment, with remastered sound and picture and extensive bonus materials.
Roma Citta’ Libera (Rome Free City)
In a war-shattered Rome newly freed by the Allies, a rainy night brings together four strangers. A heartbroken youth (Andrea Checchi of Black Sunday) rescued from taking his own life by the intervention of a thief (Nando Bruno of Rome Open City), a lonely typist (Valentina Cortese of Juliet of the Spirits and Day for Night) who has turned to streetwalking to pay for her rented room and a distinguished gentleman (Academy Award winner Vittorio de Sica) who has lost his memory take refuge in a bar frequented by American GIs. Inside the bar, the strangers encounter a group of jewel smugglers, whose leader has stolen the young man’s girlfriend, the very betrayal that pushed him toward suicide.
This lost masterpiece was directed by Oscar nominee Marcello Pagliero, best known for playing the resistance leader tortured by the Nazis in Roberto Rossellini’s Rome Open City, and was scripted by Ennio Flaiano (La Dolce Vita, 8½), Suso Checchi D’Amico (The Leopard, Rocco and His Brothers) and Cesare Zavattini (The Bicycle Thief, Miracle In Milan). Completely restored from the original vault negative, Roma Citta’ Libera (Rome Free City) is now available uncut on DVD for the first time anywhere.
- Intro by screenwriter and assistant director Luigi Filippo D’Amico.
- Interview with screenwriter and assistant director Luigi Filippo D’Amico.
- Never Before Seen Original Theatrical Trailer.
- Interview with film and TV journalist Stefano “Steve” Della Casa.
Roma Citta’ Libera (Rome Free City)
is presented its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio in Italian with optional English subtitles. Retail is $19.95.
Open Letter To The Evening News
Hoping to shake up the complacent Italian Communist Party, a group of leftist radicals sends an incendiary letter to a major evening newspaper declaring their intention to volunteer to fight American troops in Vietnam as a political statement against the war. When the newspaper actually prints the letter, drawing public attention to the situation, the provocateurs face the hard choice whether their commitment to the cause is worth risking their lives.
Directed by Francesco Maselli (Storia D’Amore, winner “Special Jury Prize” 1986 Venice Film Festival), former assistant to Michelangelo Antonioni (Story Of A Love Affair, Blow-Up), this searing black comedy is a brash example of Italy’s celebrated “cinema politico.” The cause of a scandal at the time of its release, the film was almost banned and Maselli’s career nearly ruined. Despite its status as a cause célèbre, Open Letter To The Evening News has languished in obscurity, denying Maselli his rightful place alongside the provocative likes of Francesco Rossi, Bernardo Bertolucci, Gillo Pontecorvo and Costa-Gavras.
Financed by legendary Italian producer Franco Cristaldi (Divorce Italian Style, Cinema Paradiso), Open Letter To The Evening News features a rare performance by Nanny Loy, one of Italy’s top filmmakers. Also featured in the cast are Monica Strebel (Slaughter Hotel), Tonya Lopert (Satyricon), Lorenza Guerrieri (Mario Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much) and Graziella Galvani (Radley Metzger’s CAMILLE 2000).
NoShame’s exclusive, uncut special 2 DVD edition has been prepared with the participation of Franco Maselli and includes the documentary Fragments Of The Twentieth Century, the controversial, award-winning filmmaker’s overview of Italian history featuring interviews with Virna Lisi and Claudia Cardinale.
Disc 1: Open Letter To The Evening News with the following extras:
- Introduction by director Francesco Maselli.
- Open Letter From A Comrade - Interview with director Francesco Maselli.
- Exclusive interview with Francesco Maselli and the mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni.
- Portraits of the Artist As A Camera – Exclusive Photogallery from Francesco Maselli’s collection with director’s intro.
Disc 2: Fragments of the Twentieth Century
- NoShame exclusive, available for a limited time only, Fragments of the Twentieth Century is director Francesco Maselli’s highly personal overview of Italy’s history as seen as trough his own personal experiences that features some of the most prominent protagonists in Italian culture such as Luigi Pirandello, Luchino Visconti, and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
A Collectable booklet contains unpublished essays by Michelangelo Antonioni and Italo Calvino.
Open Letter To The Evening News and Fragments of the Twentieth Century are presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratios. Both films are presented in Italian with optional English subtitles. Retail price is $29.95.